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My cat occasionally walks by and sticks her hind leg back straight out. The back leg looks kind of like a ballerina pose. Any ideas what this is about or is she just being a cat? She tends to be pretty goal-oriented..
 

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Our BooBoo sometimes seems to have a little 'hitch' in his giddyup when he first walks after having been laying down for a time. It isn't a stretch, it reminds me more of a stiff patella/ligament issue ... he walks, will stick one back leg out straight as far as it will go and hop forward on the other hind leg once, maybe twice, and then the leg he had stretched out bends and he continues walking normally.

There is an issue called Upward Fixation of the Patella where the ligament at the stifle joint hooks over something and becomes 'fixed'. Sometimes it remains that way, but usually it is able to work itself loose after a momentary fixation. The cases that are extreme require surgery to repair.

I had seen our BooBoo (2wks before he became our cat) get hit by a car in front of our house and I and my vet wonder if this issue he has is a result of that accident.
 

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I've seen that issue in a number of Tennessee Walking Horses we've rehabilitated from the show ring. A simple way to check for it in horses is to pull that hind leg up close to the horses stomach and hold it there for a few moments. Let it go and then trot the horse out a few steps and do a sharp pivot in the same direction as the leq in question. If it is Upward Fixation of the Patella the horse will hop badly on that leg. I've seen the surgery done quite a few times and it has fixed it each time. When you run your fingers over a horse's stifle you can feel that ligament moving but..I doubt you'd be able to feel it in a cat as easily.

I'm not sure how to translate that to a cat. I guess you can hold them with the leg bent up against them and have someone call the cat with a treat as you let them go. If he hobbles or limps I guess you'd have your answer if it was the upward fixation.
 

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From the description, it does sound like stretching. If she does it when she's walking by you or toward you, it's a sign of relaxation and pleasure. My Billy Bob does his "happy stretch" if I say his name and he walks to me, although he usually stretches one back leg and then the other.
 
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